Prolyl 4-hydroxylases are ascorbate-dependent oxygenases that play key roles in a variety of eukaryotic biological processes including oxygen sensing, siRNA regulation, and collagen folding. They perform their functions by catalyzing the post-translational hydroxylation of specific proline residues on target proteins to form (2S,4R)-4-hydroxyproline. Thus far, our ability to study these post-translational modifications has been limited by the lack of a prokaryotic recombinant expression system for producing hydroxylated proteins. By introducing a biosynthetic shunt to produce ascorbate-like molecules in Eschericia coli cells that heterologously express human prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H), we have created a strain of Escherichia coli that produces collagenous proteins with high levels of (2S,4R)-4-hydroxyproline. Using this new system, we have observed hydroxylation patterns indicative of a processive catalytic mode for P4H that is active even in the absence of ascorbate. Our results provide insights into P4H enzymology, and create a foundation for better understanding how post-translational hydroxylation affects proteins.
Collagens require the hydroxylation of proline (Pro) residues in their triple-helical domain repeating sequence Xaa-Pro-Gly to function properly as a main structural component of the extracellular matrix in animals at physiologically relevant conditions. The regioselective proline hydroxylation is catalyzed by a specific prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H) as a posttranslational processing step.
A recombinant human collagen type I α-1 (rCIα1) with high percentage of hydroxylated prolines (Hyp) was produced in transgenic maize seeds when co-expressed with both the α- and β- subunits of a recombinant human P4H (rP4H). Germ-specific expression of rCIα1 using maize globulin-1 gene promoter resulted in an average yield of 12 mg/kg seed for the full-length rCIα1 in seeds without co-expression of rP4H and 4 mg/kg seed for the rCIα1 (rCIα1-OH) in seeds with co-expression of rP4H. High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) analysis revealed that nearly half of the collagenous repeating triplets in rCIα1 isolated from rP4H co-expressing maize line had the Pro residues changed to Hyp residues. The HRMS analysis determined the Hyp content of maize-derived rCIα1-OH as 18.11%, which is comparable to the Hyp level of yeast-derived rCIα1-OH (17.47%) and the native human CIa1 (14.59%), respectively. The increased Hyp percentage was correlated with a markedly enhanced thermal stability of maize-derived rCIα1-OH when compared to the non-hydroxylated rCIα1.
This work shows that maize has potential to produce adequately modified exogenous proteins with mammalian-like post-translational modifications that may be require for their use as pharmaceutical and industrial products.
The multienzyme complex prolyl 4-hydroxylase catalyzes the hydroxylation of proline residues and acts as a chaperone during collagen synthesis in multicellular organisms. The β subunit of this complex is identical to protein disulfide isomerase (PDI). The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is encased in a collagenous exoskeleton and represents an excellent model for the study of collagen biosynthesis and extracellular matrix formation. In this study, we examined prolyl 4-hydroxylase α-subunit (PHY; EC 22.214.171.124)- and β-subunit (PDI; EC 126.96.36.199)-encoding genes with respect to their role in collagen modification and formation of the C. elegans exoskeleton. We identified genes encoding two PHYs and a single associated PDI and showed that all three are expressed in collagen-synthesizing ectodermal cells at times of maximal collagen synthesis. Disruption of the pdi gene via RNA interference resulted in embryonic lethality. Similarly, the combined phy genes are required for embryonic development. Interference with phy-1 resulted in a morphologically dumpy phenotype, which we determined to be identical to the uncharacterized dpy-18 locus. Two dpy-18 mutant strains were shown to have null alleles for phy-1 and to have a reduced hydroxyproline content in their exoskeleton collagens. This study demonstrates in vivo that this enzyme complex plays a central role in extracellular matrix formation and is essential for normal metazoan development.
Prolyl 4-hydroxylases install a hydroxyl group in the 4R configuration on the γ-carbon atom of certain (2S)-proline (Pro) residues in tropocollagen, elastin, and other proteins and other proteins to form (2S,4R)-4-hydroxyproline (Hyp). The gauche effect arising from this prevalent post-translational modification enforces a Cγ-exo ring pucker and stabilizes the collagen triple helix. The Hyp diastereomer (2S,4S)-4-hydroxyproline (hyp) has not been observed in a protein, despite the ability of electronegative 4S substituents to enforce the more common Cγ-endo ring pucker of Pro. Here, we use density functional theory, spectroscopy, crystallography, and calorimetry to explore the consequences of hyp incorporation on protein stability using a collagen model system. We find that the 4S-hydroxylation of Pro to form hyp does indeed enforce a Cγ-endo ring pucker, but a transannular hydrogen bond between the hydroxyl moiety and the carbonyl of hyp distorts the main-chain torsion angles that typically accompany a Cγ-endo ring pucker. This same transannular hydrogen bond enhances an n→π* interaction that stabilizes the trans conformation of the peptide bond preceding hyp, endowing hyp with the unusual combination of a Cγ-endo ring pucker and high trans:cis ratio. O-Methylation of hyp to form (2S,4S)-4-methoxyproline (mop) eliminates the transannular hydrogen bond and restores a prototypical Cγ-endo pucker. mop residues endow the collagen triple helix with much more conformational stability than do hyp residues. These findings highlight the critical importance of the configuration of the hydroxyl group installed on Cγ of proline residues.
Proline residues in collagens are extensively hydroxylated post-translationally. A rare form of this modification, 3S, 2S-L-hydroxyproline (3Hyp), remains without a clear function. Disruption of the enzyme complex responsible for prolyl 3-hydroxylation results in severe forms of recessive osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). These OI types exhibit a loss or reduction of 3-hydroxylation at two proline residues, α1(I) Pro986 and α2(I) Pro707. Whether the resulting brittle bone phenotype is caused by the lack of the 3-hydroxyl addition or by another function of the enzyme complex is unknown. We have speculated that the most efficient mechanism to explain the chemistry of collagen intermolecular cross-linking is for pairs of collagen molecules in register to be the subunit that assembles into fibrils. In this concept the exposed hydroxyls from 3Hyp are positioned within mutually interactive binding motifs on adjacent collagen molecules that contribute through hydrogen bonding to the process of fibril supramolecular assembly. Here we report observations on the physical binding properties of 3Hyp in collagen chains from experiments designed to explore the potential for interaction using synthetic collagen-like peptides containing 3Hyp. Evidence of self-association was observed between a synthetic peptide containing 3Hyp and the CB6 domain of the α1(I) chain, which contains the single fully 3-hydroxylated proline. Using collagen from a case of severe recessive OI with a CRTAP defect, in which Pro986 was minimally 3-hydroxylated, such binding was not observed. Further study on the role of 3Hyp in supramolecular assembly is warranted for understanding the evolution of tissue-specific variations in collagen fibril organization.
collagen; 3-hydroxyproline; bone; supramolecular assembly; osteogenesis imperfecta
Posttranslational modifications can cause profound changes in protein function. Typically, these modifications are reversible, and thus provide a biochemical on–off switch. In contrast, proline residues are the substrates for an irreversible reaction that is the most common posttranslational modification in humans. This reaction, which is catalyzed by prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H), yields (2S,4R)-4-hydroxyproline (Hyp). The protein substrates for P4Hs are diverse. Likewise, the biological consequences of prolyl hydroxylation vary widely, and include altering protein conformation and protein–protein interactions, and enabling further modification. The best known role for Hyp is in stabilizing the collagen triple helix. Hyp is also found in proteins with collagen-like domains, as well as elastin, conotoxins, and argonaute 2. A prolyl hydroxylase domain protein acts on the hypoxia inducible factor α, which plays a key role in sensing molecular oxygen, and could act on inhibitory κB kinase and RNA polymerase II. P4Hs are not unique to animals, being found in plants and microbes as well. Here, we review the enzymic catalysts of prolyl hydroxylation, along with the chemical and biochemical consequences of this subtle but abundant posttranslational modification.
Non-heme iron dioxygenase; proline; hydroxyproline; posttranslational modification; collagen
The mechanical and biological functions of the native collagens remain an inspiration in materials design, but widespread application of de novo collagens has been limited in part by the need for hydroxylated proline in the formation of stable triple helical structures. In order to address this continued need and to expand the potential for recombinant expression of functional, hydroxyproline-lacking collagen-mimetic peptides, we have designed a hydrophilic, non-repetitive, and thermally stable collagen-mimetic peptide via the incorporation of triple-helix-stabilizing charged triplets. The peptide sequence is also equipped with a type III-collagen-mimetic cystine knot at the C-terminus to facilitate covalent crosslinking of the triple helix via simple air oxidation. Circular dichroic (CD) studies of this collagen-mimetic peptide revealed a typical, thermally stable, collagen triple helix signature, with a weak positive maximum at 225 nm, and a triple helix melting temperature (Tm) of 35 °C and 43 °C for the reduced and oxidized forms respectively. The thermal behavior was confirmed via analysis by differential scanning calorimetry. Interestingly, this hydroxyproline-lacking, collagen-mimetic peptide also assembles into nanorods and microfibrillar structures as observed via transmission electron microscopy. The identification and demonstrated useful collagen-mimetic properties of this peptide suggests important opportunities in the recombinant design of new collagen-based biomaterials.
Collagen peptide; collagen triple helix; self-assembly; nanorods; microfibrils
Prolyl hydroxylation is a post-translational modification that affects the structure,
stability and function of proteins including collagen by catalysing hydroxylation of
proline to hydroxyproline through action of collagen prolyl hydroxylases3 (C-P3H) and 4
(C-P4H). Three C-P3Hs (nomenclature was amended according to approval by the HGNC
symbols and names at (http://www.genenames.org) and Entrez database at (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene)
leucineproline-enriched proteoglycan (leprecan) 1 (Lepre1), leprecan-like 1
(Leprel1), leprecan-like 2 (Leprel2) and two paralogs
Cartilage-Related Protein (CRTAP) and leprecan-like 4 (Leprel4) are
found in humans. The C-P4Hs are tetrameric proteins comprising a variable
α subunit, encoded by the P4HA1, P4HA2 and
P4HA3 genes and a constant β subunit encoded by
We used RT–PCR, qPCR, pyrosequencing, methylation-specific PCR, western blotting
and immunohistochemistry to investigate expression and regulation of the C-P3H
and C-P4H genes in B lymphomas and normal bone marrow.
C-P3H and C-P4H are downregulated in lymphoma. Down-regulation is associated with
methylation in the CpG islands and is detected in almost all common types of B-cell
lymphoma, but the CpG islands are unmethylated or methylated at lower levels in DNA
isolated from normal bone marrow and lymphoblastoid cell lines. Methylation of multiple
C-P3H and C-P4H genes is present in some lymphomas, particularly
Methylation of C-P3H and C-P4H is common in B lymphomas and may have
utility in differentiating disease subtypes.
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Prolyl hydroxylases; methylation; epigenetics
Mutations in CRTAP (coding for cartilage-associated protein), LEPRE1 (coding for prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1 [P3H1]) or PPIB (coding for Cyclophilin B [CYPB]) cause recessive forms of osteogenesis imperfecta and loss or decrease of type I collagen prolyl 3-hydroxylation. A comprehensive analysis of the phenotype of the Crtap-/- mice revealed multiple abnormalities of connective tissue, including in the lungs, kidneys, and skin, consistent with systemic dysregulation of collagen homeostasis within the extracellular matrix. Both Crtap-/- lung and kidney glomeruli showed increased cellular proliferation. Histologically, the lungs showed increased alveolar spacing, while the kidneys showed evidence of segmental glomerulosclerosis, with abnormal collagen deposition. The Crtap-/- skin had decreased mechanical integrity. In addition to the expected loss of proline 986 3-hydroxylation in α1(I) and α1(II) chains, there was also loss of 3Hyp at proline 986 in α2(V) chains. In contrast, at two of the known 3Hyp sites in α1(IV) chains from Crtap-/- kidneys there were normal levels of 3-hydroxylation. On a cellular level, loss of CRTAP in human OI fibroblasts led to a secondary loss of P3H1, and vice versa. These data suggest that both CRTAP and P3H1 are required to maintain a stable complex that 3-hydroxylates canonical proline sites within clade A (types I, II, and V) collagen chains. Loss of this activity leads to a multi-systemic connective tissue disease that affects bone, cartilage, lung, kidney, and skin.
Previous clinical and experimental observations have indicated that wound healing is impaired as a result of treatment with doxorubicin, a chemotherapeutic agent. In this study, the effects of doxorubicin were examined in human skin fibroblast cultures with respect to collagen production and fibroblast proliferation. The results indicated that the synthesis of hydroxyproline as a marker of collagen production was markedly reduced, with an approximate concentration of inhibitor yielding 50% inhibition of 1 microM. This inhibition could be explained, in part, by generalized inhibition of total protein synthesis, but in addition, there was a significant inhibition of prolyl hydroxylation during collagen biosynthesis, as indicated by a reduction in the ratio of [3H]hydroxyproline/([3H]hydroxyproline + [3H]proline). The latter effect was shown to result from inhibition of prolyl hydroxylase by doxorubicin. As a consequence of reduced prolyl hydroxylation, the stability of newly synthesized procollagen triple helix was shown to be compromised. At the same time, doxorubicin significantly reduced fibroblast proliferation in vitro, as determined by [3H]thymidine incorporation. Thus, reduced collagen production and inhibition of fibroblast proliferation may explain the reduced wound healing in patients undergoing treatment with doxorubicin.
We are reporting qualitative and quantitative changes of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and associated receptor proteomes, occurring during the transition from liver fibrosis and steatohepatitis to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We compared two mouse models relevant to human HCC: PDGFC transgenic (Tg) and Pten null mice, models of disease progression from fibrosis and steatohepatitis to HCC. Using mass spectrometry, we identified in the liver of both models proteins for 26 collagen-encoding genes, providing the first evidence of expression at the protein level for 16 collagens. We also identified post-transcriptional protein variants for six collagens and lysine hydroxylation modifications for 14 collagens. Tumor-associated collagen proteomes were similar in both models with increased expression of collagens type IV, VI, VII, X, XIV, XV, XVI, and XVIII. Splice variants for Col4a2, Col6a2, Col6a3 were co-upregulated while only the short form of Col18a1 increased in the tumors. We also identified tumor specific increases of nidogen 1, decorin, perlecan, and of six laminin subunits. The changes in these non-collagenous ECM proteins were similar in both models with the exception of laminin β3, detected specifically in the Pten null tumors. Pdgfa and Pdgfc mRNA expression was increased in the Pten null liver, a possible mechanism for the similarity in ECM composition observed in the tumors of both models. In contrast and besides the strong up-regulation of integrin α5 protein observed in the liver tumors of both models, the expression of the six other integrins identified was specific to each model, with integrins α2b, α3, α6, and β1 up-regulated in Pten null tumors and integrins α8 and β5 up-regulated in the PDGFC Tg tumors. In conclusion, HCC–associated ECM proteins and ECM–integrin networks, common or specific to HCC subtypes, were identified, providing a unique foundation to using ECM composition for HCC classification, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment.
The microenvironment can have a profound influence on cellular behavior and survival and on growth of developing tumor cells. We present the first comprehensive analysis of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and associated receptor proteomes, applied here to the study of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study demonstrates the utility of mass spectrometry-based approaches to characterize, at the protein level, gene families with extensive sequence homology, post-transcriptional regulations, and post-translational regulations. This is also the first study to analyze and compare liver proteome changes occurring during the transition from fibrosis and steatohepatitis, common preneoplastic conditions in humans, to HCC, using two mouse models. This approach identifies ECM and integrin components, which could play an important role in the early steps of hepatocarcinogenesis, and provides a path to identifying ECM–tumor cell networks that may contribute to the heterogeneous features of HCC.
Prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H) is a non-heme iron dioxygenase that catalyzes the post-translational hydroxylation of (2S)-proline (Pro) residues in protocollagen strands. The resulting (2S,4R)-4-hydroxyproline (Hyp) residues are essential for the folding, secretion, and stability of the collagen triple helix. P4H uses α-ketoglutarate and O2 as co-substrates, and forms succinate and CO2 as well as Hyp. Described herein is the first assay for P4H that continuously and directly detects turnover of the proline-containing substrate. This assay is based on (2S,4S)-4-fluoroproline (flp), a proline analogue that is transformed into (2S)-4-ketoproline (Kep) and inorganic fluoride by P4H. The fluoride ion, and thus turnover by P4H, is detected by a fluoride ion-selective electrode. Using this assay, steady-state kinetic parameters for the human P4H-catalyzed turnover of a flp-containing peptide were determined and found to be comparable to those obtained with a discontinuous HPLC-based assay. In addition, this assay can be used to characterize P4H variants, as demonstrated by a comparison of catalysis by D414A P4H and the wild-type enzyme. Finally, the use of the assay to identify small-molecule inhibitors of P4H was verified by an analysis of catalysis in the presence of 2,4-pyridine dicarboxylate, an analogue of α-ketoglutarate. Thus, the assay described herein could facilitate biochemical analyses of this essential enzyme.
We describe a method for specific, quantitative and quick detection of human collagen prolyl 4-hydroxylase (C-P4H), the key enzyme for collagen prolyl-4 hydroxylation, in crude samples based on a sandwich ELISA principle. The method is relevant to active C-P4H level monitoring during recombinant C-P4H and collagen production in different expression systems. The assay proves to be specific for the active C-P4H α2β2 tetramer due to the use of antibodies against its both subunits. Thus in keeping with the method C-P4H is captured by coupled to an anti-α subunit antibody magnetic beads and an anti-β subunit antibody binds to the PDI/β subunit of the protein. Then the following holoenzyme detection is accomplished by a goat anti-rabbit IgG labeled with alkaline phosphatase which AP catalyzes the reaction of a substrate transformation with fluorescent signal generation.
We applied an experimental design approach for the optimization of the antibody concentrations used in the sandwich ELISA. The assay sensitivity was 0.1 ng of C-P4H. The method was utilized for the analysis of C-P4H accumulation in crude cell extracts of E. coli overexpressing C-P4H. The sandwich ELISA signals obtained demonstrated a very good correlation with the detected protein activity levels measured with the standard radioactive assay. The developed assay was applied to optimize C-P4H production in E. coli Origami in a system where the C-P4H subunits expression acted under control by different promoters. The experiments performed in a shake flask fed-batch system (EnBase®) verified earlier observations that cell density and oxygen supply are critical factors for the use of the inducer anhydrotetracycline and thus for the soluble C-P4H yield.
Here we show an example of sandwich ELISA usage for quantifying multimeric proteins. The method was developed for monitoring the amount of recombinant C-P4H tetramer in crude E. coli extracts. Due to the specificity of the antibodies used in the assay against the different C-P4H subunits, the method detects the entire holoenzyme, and the signal is not disturbed by background expression of the separate subunits.
Glycosides of hydroxyproline (Hyp) in the plant cell wall matrix were discovered by Lamport and co-workers in the 1960s. Since then, much has been learned about these Hyp-rich glycoproteins. The intent of this review was to compare and contrast some less common structural motifs, in nontraditional roles, to uncover themes. Arabinosylation of short-peptide plant hormones is essential for growth, cell differentiation and defense. In a very recent development, prolyl hydroxylase and arabinosyltransferase activity has been shown to have a direct impact on the growth of root hairs in Arabidopsis thaliana. Pollen allergens of mugwort and ragweed contain proline-rich domains that are hydroxylated and glycosylated and play a structural role. In the case of mugwort, this domain also presents a significant immunogenic epitope. Major crops, including tobacco and maize, have been used to express and produce recombinant proteins of mammalian origin. The risks of plant-imposed glycosylation are discussed. In unicellular eukaryotes, Skp1 (a subunit of the E3SCF ubiquitin ligase complex) harbors a key Hyp residue that is modified by a linear pentasaccharide. These modifications may be involved in sensing oxygen levels. A few studies have probed the impact of glycosylation on the structure of Hyp-containing peptides. These have necessarily looked at small, synthetic molecules, since natural peptides and proteins are often isolable in only minuscule amounts and/or are heterogeneous in nature. The characterization of native structural motifs, together with the determination of glycopeptide conformation and properties, holds the key to rationalizing nature's architectural design.
glycosylation; hydroxyproline; peptide conformation
The synthesis of collagen can be interrupted, after the assembly of proline-rich and lysine-rich polypeptide chains called protocollagen, by incubating connective tissues anaerobically. Under these conditions the proline and lysine residues in protocollagen are not hydroxylated to hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, and protocollagen molecules accumulate intracellularly. Chemical data and radioautographs at the level of the light and electron microscopes indicated that in tissues labeled with proline-3,4-3H under nitrogen, there appeared to be an accumulation of radioactivity over the ground cytoplasm. When the inhibition of protocollagen hydroxylase was reversed by exposing the tissue to oxygen, the accumulated protocollagen-3H was converted to collagen-3H and there was a rapid transfer of label from the ground cytoplasm to the extracellular matrix. There was no significant change in distribution of label over either the Golgi vacuoles or the cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum. The failure to find a significant change in distribution of label over the Golgi vacuoles or the cisternae does not completely exclude the possibility that these two compartments are involved in the extrusion, but the data are consistent with the simpler notion that the completed collagen molecules pass directly from the ground cytoplasm to the extracellular matrix.
Microbial physiology plays a crucial role in whole-cell biotransformation, especially for redox reactions that depend on carbon and energy metabolism. In this study, regio- and enantio-selective proline hydroxylation with recombinant Escherichia coli expressing proline-4-hydroxylase (P4H) was investigated with respect to its interconnectivity to microbial physiology and metabolism. P4H production was found to depend on extracellular proline availability and on codon usage. Medium supplementation with proline did not alter p4h mRNA levels, indicating that P4H production depends on the availability of charged prolyl-tRNAs. Increasing the intracellular levels of soluble P4H did not result in an increase in resting cell activities above a certain threshold (depending on growth and assay temperature). Activities up to 5-fold higher were reached with permeabilized cells, confirming that host physiology and not the intracellular level of active P4H determines the achievable whole-cell proline hydroxylation activity. Metabolic flux analysis revealed that tricarboxylic acid cycle fluxes in growing biocatalytically active cells were significantly higher than proline hydroxylation rates. Remarkably, a catalysis-induced reduction of substrate uptake was observed, which correlated with reduced transcription of putA and putP, encoding proline dehydrogenase and the major proline transporter, respectively. These results provide evidence for a strong interference of catalytic activity with the regulation of proline uptake and metabolism. In terms of whole-cell biocatalyst efficiency, proline uptake and competition of P4H with proline catabolism are considered the most critical factors.
We used cultured human diploid lung fibroblasts as a model system to examine the effects of recombinant IFN-gamma on synthesis of collagen, matrix deposition of newly synthesized collagen, and the expression of cell surface receptors for collagen. Using [3H]proline-labeled cells we found that IFN-gamma resulted in dose-dependent inhibition of fibroblast collagen synthesis. Pulse-chase experiments to analyze compartmentalization of newly synthesized collagen showed that the decrease in collagen synthesis was confined to the soluble pool of procollagen in the medium, while extracellular matrix associated collagen was not changed, indicating that a larger proportion of newly synthesized collagen was deposited into the matrix in IFN-gamma exposed fibroblasts (34.2 vs. 25.3%). This increase in the efficiency of collagen matrix deposition was associated with enhanced expression of a cell surface receptor for collagen as detected by indirect immunofluorescence labeling and analysis by flow cytometry. Fibroblasts (IMR-90) cultured in the presence of IFN-gamma (1,000 U/ml) exhibited a twofold increase in mean linear fluorescence intensity compared with cells cultured under control conditions. The distribution of log fluorescence intensity in both control and IFN-gamma exposed cells was normally distributed about the mean, indicating that discrete subpopulations with respect to receptor expression were not present. Increased fluorescence intensity and log normal distribution of fluorescence intensity also were identified in IFN-gamma-treated lung fibroblasts from a normal adult individual and two strains obtained from patients with pulmonary fibrosis. These results indicate that IFN-gamma modulates fibroblast collagen matrix deposition as well as collagen synthesis. The associated increase in collagen receptors suggests that cytokine-mediated modulation of the cell surface maybe a contributing factor in regulation of fibroblast collagen accumulation in the extracellular matrix or in cellular interaction with collagen-containing matrix. Such an effect could modulate the interaction of fibroblasts with extracellular matrix at sites of inflammation and play an important role in the remodeling of matrix during repair from tissue injury.
Prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1 (P3H1), encoded by the LEPRE1 gene, forms a molecular complex with cartilage-associated protein (CRTAP) and cyclophilin B (encoded by PPIB) in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This complex is responsible for one step in collagen post-translational modification, the prolyl 3-hydroxylation of specific proline residues, specifically α1(I) Pro986. P3H1 provides the enzymatic activity of the complex and has a Lys-Asp-Glu-Leu (KDEL) ER-retrieval sequence at the carboxyl terminus. Loss of function mutations in LEPRE1 lead to the Pro986 residue remaining unmodified and lead to slow folding and excessive helical post-translational modification of type I collagen, which is seen in both dominant and recessive osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). Here, we present the case of siblings with non-lethal OI due to novel compound heterozygous mutations in LEPRE1 (c.484delG and c.2155dupC). The results of RNA analysis and real-time PCR suggest that mRNA with c.2155dupC escapes from nonsense-mediated RNA decay. Without the KDEL ER- retrieval sequence, the product of the c.2155dupC variant cannot be retained in the ER. This is the first report of a mutation in LEPRE1 that eliminates only the KDEL ER-retrieval sequence, whereas other functional domains remain intact. Our study shows, for the first time, that the KDEL ER- retrieval sequence is essential for P3H1 functionality and that a defect in KDEL is sufficient for disease onset.
Angiogenesis requires the deposition of type IV collagen by endothelial cells into the basement membrane of new blood vessels. Stabilization of type IV collagen triple helix depends on the hydroxylation of proline, which is catalyzed by the iron-containing enzyme prolyl hydroxylase. This enzyme, in turn, requires ascorbic acid to maintain the enzyme-bound iron in its reduced state. We hypothesized that dietary ascorbic acid might be required for tumor angiogenesis and, therefore, tumor growth. Here, we show that, not surprisingly, ascorbic acid is necessary for the synthesis of collagen type IV by human endothelial cells and for their effective migration and tube formation on a basement membrane matrix. Furthermore, ascorbic acid depletion in mice incapable of synthesizing ascorbic acid (Gulo-/-) dramatically restricts the in vivo growth of implanted Lewis lung carcinoma tumors. Histopathological analyses of these tumors reveal poorly formed blood vessels, extensive hemorrhagic foci, and decreased collagen and von Willebrand factor expression. Our data indicate that ascorbic acid plays an essential role in tumor angiogenesis and growth, and that restriction of ascorbic acid or pharmacological inhibition of prolyl hydroxylase may prove to be novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment of cancer.
Ascorbic acid; tumor; angiogenesis; collagen; prolyl hydroxylase
Collagen is ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom, where it comprises some 28 diverse molecules that form the extracellular matrix within organisms. In the 1960s, an extracorporeal animal collagen that forms the cocoon of a small group of hymenopteran insects was postulated. Here we categorically demonstrate that the larvae of a sawfly species produce silk from three small collagen proteins. The native proteins do not contain hydroxyproline, a post translational modification normally considered characteristic of animal collagens. The function of the proteins as silks explains their unusual collagen features. Recombinant proteins could be produced in standard bacterial expression systems and assembled into stable collagen molecules, opening the door to manufacture a new class of artificial collagen materials.
The question whether ascorbate regulates collagen production solely through its direct role in proline hydroxylation was investigated. Proteins in calvarial bones from control and scorbutic weanling guinea pigs were labeled in short-term cultures with radioactive proline. Proteins were digested with purified bacterial collagenase to distinguish between effects on collagen polypeptide production and hydroxyproline formation. There was a preferential decrease in the absolute rate of collagen biosynthesis beginning after 2 wk of ascorbate deficiency, and this effect was temporally dissociated from decreased proline hydroxylation. There were no significant changes in the absolute rates of collagen degradation or noncollagen protein production. In vitro inhibition of proline hydroxylation in normal bone with alpha, alpha'-dipyridyl did not affect the relative rate of collagen synthesis, further dissociating these functions. Ascorbate added to scorbutic bone cultures reversed defective proline hydroxylation but not defective collagen synthesis, suggesting that the latter was an indirect effect of scurvy. There was a linear correlation between the extent of body weight lost during the 3rd and 4th wk of scurvy and the rate of collagen synthesis in scorbutic bone. This correlation also applied to control animals receiving ascorbate, but with weight loss induced by food restriction. These studies establish for the first time that ascorbate deficiency in guinea pigs leads to a specific decrease in collagen polypeptide synthesis and suggest that this decrease results from the reduced food intake and/or weight-loss characteristic of scurvy.
Prolyl-4-hydroxylase from B. anthracis has been cloned, expressed and crystallized. A complete MAD data set has been collected to 1.4 Å resolution.
Collagen prolyl-4-hydroxylase (C-P4H) catalyzes the hydroxylation of specific proline residues in procollagen, which is an essential step in collagen biosynthesis. A new form of P4H from Bacillus anthracis (anthrax-P4H) that shares many characteristics with the type I C-P4H from human has recently been characterized. The structure of anthrax-P4H could provide important insight into the chemistry of C-P4Hs and into the function of this unique homodimeric P4H. X-ray diffraction data of selenomethionine-labeled anthrax-P4H recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli have been collected to 1.4 Å resolution.
prolyl-4-hydroxylases; Bacillus anthracis
Unlike small molecule drugs, therapeutic protein pharmaceuticals must not only have the correct amino acid sequence and modifications, but also the correct conformation to ensure safety and efficacy. Here, we describe a method for comparison of therapeutic protein conformations by hydroxyl radical protein footprinting using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) as an analytical platform. Hydroxyl radical protein footprinting allows for rapid analysis of the conformation of therapeutic proteins based on the apparent rate of oxidation of various amino acids by hydroxyl radicals generated in situ. Conformations of Neupogen®, a patented granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF), were compared to several expired samples of recombinant GCSF, as well as heat-treated Neupogen®. Conformations of different samples of the therapeutic proteins interferon α-2A and erythropoietin were also compared. Differences in the hydroxyl radical footprint were measured between Neupogen® and the expired or mishandled GCSF samples, and confirmed by circular dichroism spectroscopy. Samples that had identical circular dichroism spectra were also found to be indistinguishable by hydroxyl radical footprinting. The method is applicable to a wide variety of therapeutic proteins and formulations through the use of separations techniques to clean up the protein samples after radical oxidation. The reaction products are stable, allowing for flexibility in sample handling, as well as archiving and reanalysis of samples. Initial screening can be performed on small amounts of therapeutic protein with minimal training in LC-MS, but samples with structural differences from the reference can be more carefully analyzed by LC-MS/MS to attain higher spatial resolution, which can aid in engineering and troubleshooting.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1208/s12248-012-9336-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
biosimilars; hydroxyl radical protein footprinting; mass spectrometry; protein conformation; therapeutic proteins
Recessive mutations that prevent 3-hydroxyproline formation in type I collagen have been shown to cause forms of osteogenesis imperfecta. In mammals, all A-clade collagen chains with a GPP sequence at the A1 site (P986), except α1(III), have 3Hyp at residue P986. Available avian, amphibian and reptilian type III collagen sequences from the genomic database (Ensembl) all differ in sequence motif from mammals at the A1 site. This suggests a potential evolutionary distinction in prolyl 3-hydroxylation between mammals and earlier vertebrates. Using peptide mass spectrometry, we confirmed that this 3Hyp site is fully occupied in α1(III) from an amphibian, Xenopus laevis, as it is in chicken. A thorough characterization of all predicted 3Hyp sites in collagen types I, II, III and V from chicken and xenopus revealed further differences in the pattern of occupancy of the A3 site (P707). In mammals only α2(I) and α2(V) chains had any 3Hyp at the A3 site, whereas in chicken all α-chains except α1(III) had A3 at least partially 3-hydroxylated. The A3 site was also partially 3-hydroxylated in xenopus α1(I). Minor differences in covalent cross-linking between chicken, xenopus and mammal type I and III collagens were also found as a potential index of evolving functional differences. The function of 3Hyp is still unknown but observed differences in site occupancy during vertebrate evolution are likely to give important clues.
Background: Collagen prolyl 4-hydroxylases (C-P4H) are involved in the formation of extracellular matrices.
Results: The full complement of C-P4H enzymes from the human infective parasite Brugia malayi have been bioinformatically, biochemically, and functionally characterized.
Conclusion: C-P4H enzymes are essential for development in B. malayi.
Significance: Unique features of these essential enzymes may be exploited in future control mechanisms.
Collagen prolyl 4-hydroxylases (C-P4H) are required for formation of extracellular matrices in higher eukaryotes. These enzymes convert proline residues within the repeat regions of collagen polypeptides to 4-hydroxyproline, a modification essential for the stability of the final triple helix. C-P4H are most often oligomeric complexes, with enzymatic activity contributed by the α subunits, and the β subunits formed by protein disulfide isomerase (PDI). Here, we characterize this enzyme class in the important human parasitic nematode Brugia malayi. All potential C-P4H subunits were identified by detailed bioinformatic analysis of sequence databases, function was investigated both by RNAi in the parasite and heterologous expression in Caenorhabditis elegans, whereas biochemical activity and complex formation were examined via co-expression in insect cells. Simultaneous RNAi of two B. malayi C-P4H α subunit-like genes resulted in a striking, highly penetrant body morphology phenotype in parasite larvae. This was replicated by single RNAi of a B. malayi C-P4H β subunit-like PDI. Surprisingly, however, the B. malayi proteins were not capable of rescuing a C. elegans α subunit mutant, whereas the human enzymes could. In contrast, the B. malayi PDI did functionally complement the lethal phenotype of a C. elegans β subunit mutant. Comparison of recombinant and parasite derived material indicates that enzymatic activity may be dependent on a non-reducible covalent link, present only in the parasite. We therefore demonstrate that C-P4H activity is essential for development of B. malayi and uncover a novel parasite-specific feature of these collagen biosynthetic enzymes that may be exploited in future parasite control.
C. elegans; Collagen; Extracellular matrix; Extracellular matrix proteins; Hydroxylase; Hydroxyproline; Parasitology; Post translational modification; Protein synthesis